Political candidates at the national level, with the exception of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, have largely avoided discussing environmental. However, a ballot proposal in Washington might be showing the rest of the country how to deal with carbon emissions.
The proposal, Initiative 732, would impose a tax on carbon emissions produced by such fuels as petroleum, gas and coal. The tax would start at $15 per metric ton next year, increase to $25 a ton in 2018 and then rise gradually over a few decades until it hits $100 a ton in 2016 dollars. (A typical passenger car emits about five metric tons of carbon dioxide in a year.) The money raised by the tax would go to lowering the state sales tax, effectively eliminating a business tax on manufacturers and giving up to $1,500 in tax credits to low-income residents.
The initiative’s approach is based on a carbon tax that British Columbia put in place in 2008.